Really simple cross-platform database?


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# 1  
Really simple cross-platform database?

I'm looking for a really simple to use lightweight database. Ideally something open-source that stores data in a (semi-) human-readable format, in case the software isn't working.

Something cross-platform enough that I can use it on my Linux machine, my Mac, or stick it on a USB stick and access my data from an Internet cafe on the road. A command line UI is fine, and might even be better for portability/compatibility.

And most importantly, something I can start using fast, without spending a lot of time learning a new language in detail to write a custom front-end.

(MS Access does this last bit well, unfortunately it fails every other criteria)

Here's the problem I'm trying to solve:

I do a lot of researching different options. Maybe I'm working on a project that needs web hosting in Elbonia. Right now that means making text file that lists every Elbonian webhost I can find, what they charge, whether they offer VPS or only shared, etc. Then add on notes when I call them -- this one sends me to a Moravian call center, this one's sysadmin is a Linux kernel contributor, etc. Now all of a sudden the project requirements change and I need to find all the hosts that offer dedicated. Hope I remembered to note that down...

Next week it's finding the right router... and then one distributor offers far better terms, so which routers of the one's he's got in stock do we want?

I used to use DevonThink Pro Office for this, but the proprietary, Mac-only, "big software" approach didn't fit my needs.
# 2  
Perhaps SQLite would work for you. It's simple. It's crossplatform. And there's no need to learn a new language to build a frontend.

SQLite is implemented as an in-process library. There are bindings for all common languages, so you can almost certainly use your programming language of choice to work with it. Since it's a library of functions, there is no separate database process to connect to. The database itself is usually a local file, which you can fetch when needed or carry with you on a usb stick.

Your frontend could conceivably be as simple as using a sh script to wrap around the sqlite3 command line tool.

Or not. Smilie

Regards,
Alister
# 3  
Thanks! I would prefer to find something where I can at least read the database in a text editor in the event I can't use the appropriate program to access it, though. Every time I've tried something that involved storing data in a non-human-readable format, I later regretted it for one reason or another.
 

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